Portland has always been one of my favorite cities: it's incredibly clean and green, it's foodie heaven, and everyone there is super weird. What's not to love! The Pacific North West in general is so incredibly beautiful and calming - it's my favorite place to escape to relax. Check out where to eat, sleep, and explore in Portland below!
Where to eat
Carioca Bowls, 827 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Every time we go to Portland, we end up here because they have literally THE BEST acai bowls you will ever have. The ingredients are incredibly fresh and there is the perfect amount of everything. The GF avocado toast is also yummy. Seriously, the most delicious breakfast. Make sure you get the peanut butter as a topping on the acai bowl because it's on another level of delicious. They share a building with a yoga studio, so you could potentially do yoga and then eat... the perfect morning.
Teote, 1615 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
This Latin American restaurant is gluten-free and perfect for lunch! They have vegan options and specialize in arepas - everything was delicious. They also have a two-level building with a fun outdoor patio on the second floor! Really great for groups.
Late night pizza
Sizzle Pie, 926 W. Burnside, Portland
This place is open until 4am so when we were desperately wandering the streets looking for something to eat (that fit into our dietary restrictions), Sizzle Pie saved the day! They offer vegan gf pizza that doesn't taste like cardboard! The atmosphere and clientele are super hard rock and pretty intense, but still a fun environment to people watch (and take out).
Tea Bar, 1615 NE Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97211
THE boba spot in Portland is Tea Bar. I especially love their Killingsworth Street location because it's only a few blocks away from the lesbian book store from Portlandia! The boba drinks here are a bit too sugary for me, but if you ask, they can do just a tea with non-dairy milk, which is perfect for my tastes. Also, they have a beautiful Instagram feed that's fun to follow for the aesthetic even if you aren't a boba lover.
Where to stay
Kimpton Hotel Vintage
We stayed in 2 different rooms at Hotel Vintage - the Sky Loft room (with tall windows and beautiful downtown views) and the Urban Soak room (with a private outdoor jacuzzi!). The decor is true to the name - vintage - in a lovely, dark velvet and leather way. It feels fancy without being overwhelming, and there is street-inspired art throughout the hotel. Read more about the hotel at www.juliaotest.com/blog-index/portland-hotel.
Where to explore / take photos
Since our hotel was in downtown, we basically just walked around that area, and happened upon a light parade in the streets, and a city fair by the water!
Definitely check out the Portland theater sign at Broadway and Main Street:
The famous Portland, Oregon sign is another great stop, at 70 NW Couch St. And it's right next to Voodoo Donuts ;)
We also went window shopping in the downtown and nearby Pearl district, which is oh so much fun! The cutest shops with the cutest goodies.
I hope you have the chance to go to Portland soon, and that my guide is helpful! If you're driving North, definitely take Highway 1 - it's well worth the additional time because it's breathtakingly beautiful.
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.